No Terror at Concordia

APD simulates terror attack on Concordia University

It's official: there are no fake terrorists at the former Concordia University site. That's because local law enforcement flushed them out in a training exercise held today at the empty campus.

The joint exercise, involving Austin Police Department SWAT and bomb squads, plus staff from Travis and Hays county sheriffs, was modeled (very lightly) on the horrific 2004 Beslan school massacre. Does this, as several journalists joked with APD officers, mean that Chechen separatists are likely to target Austin? Not so much: the exercise came about after the chief of police for Concordia contacted APD to offer the newly empty campus up for a training exercise, and the developers offered to push back demolition of the Woltman Activities Center.

To keep things realistic, Det. James Mason held a press conference about the 'siege' and asked anyone with any information to contact him on the special hotline set up for the day: "555-555-5555."

While the media were kept at a safe distance (the officers were only using 'safe' wax practice rounds and flash-bangs, but they can still hurt), there was free pizza. However, when the fireworks started, because there was a baseball field in between the press corps and the action, we all just thought that a table had fallen over.

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